June 2021
Curbing Democrats' Spending Spree
Last month, Governor Newsom released his May Revision, an update to the proposed budget that was released in January. The good news is that the state has collected $76 BILLION more than anticipated. This amount is in addition to the $27 BILLION in pandemic-related federal funds allocated to California. This unexpected windfall puts lawmakers in a much better position as they fine-tune this year’s budget bill for passage by the June 15 deadline.
Make no mistake, these staggering numbers make several things very clear:
1.   There should be absolutely no need to raise taxes or fees on hardworking California families. 
2.   Californians are overtaxed, and the tax burden should be reduced immediately and permanently.
3.   Pay down pension obligations. 
4.   Refund surpluses to taxpayers, as required by the Gann Limit.
I encourage constituents to share any concerns or comments about the budget with their state representatives and Governor Newsom.
May Board Actions
Each year the Board is required to set the unitary values of state-assessed properties. On May 25, my colleagues and I approved the values in several votes categorized by industry. All values were adopted by the Board.
We also considered Chairman Vazquez’s proposal to hold a public policy hearing on affordable housing and to develop policies related to property tax administration that could help increase affordable housing in the state. Executive Director Brenda Fleming agreed to have options for our June meeting. Once a broad outline of a plan is agreed upon, BOE staff will develop a formal proposal for consideration at the July or August meeting.
Next, we had our monthly discussion about the implementation of Proposition 19, which passed last November and expanded the law that allows certain homeowners to transfer their base year value when they move to a new primary residence and eliminated the exemption for intergenerational transfers.
To streamline the implementation process, the Board unanimously approved publication of Property Tax Rule 462.540, Change in Ownership—Base-Year Value Transfers and then voted unanimously to adopt 24 property tax forms that were revised (or created) to implement provisions of Proposition 19. BOE staff noted that some forms may need further revision if lawmakers approve any of the pending bills that seek to clarify the confusing language in the initiative.
Finally, the Board unanimously adopted the 4-R Act Equalization Ratio for 2021-22 at 58.79 percent, which is down one percentage point from last year’s ratio. Under the federal Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act, states and localities are prohibited from imposing taxes that discriminate against railroads and must assess rail transportation property at the same percentage of market value as all other commercial and industrial property.
We are proud as a Board to continue meeting our constitutional duties using various virtual platforms and remain committed to our mission to serve Californians through fair, effective, and efficient tax administration in support of state and local governments.
Proposition 19 Update
White toy house with red roof placed on wooden floor with words property tax written above it
While Proposition 19 has been fully implemented since April 1, Board Members continue working closely with BOE staff, county assessors, and state legislators to get as much clarification on the measure as possible. 
My staff continues to monitor two bills making their way through the state Legislature: 
Senate Bill 539 (Hertzberg), which will help clarify many vague and inconsistent provisions of the law, passed the Senate with a vote of 37-0 and will next be heard in the Assembly Revenue and Taxation Committee. 
Senate Bill 668 (Bates), which will delay the implementation date of the intergenerational transfer exclusion provisions to February 16, 2023, giving officials more time to clarify ambiguities in the new law, died in the Senate last week.
While these bills make their way through the legislative process, BOE staff will continue updating its Proposition 19 guidance. These updates can be found on my website.
Taxpayer Protection or Welfare?
The following is an excerpt from my latest opinion piece commenting on the Gann Limit and Governor Newsom's plans to spend this year’s windfall revenue:
California actually has a government spending limit, hard as that may be to believe, and Gavin Newsom is making a mockery of it, just as his predecessor did. In 1979, a year after signing off on the revolutionary Proposition 13, voters passed Proposition 4, implementing the “Gann Limit,” which would peg California’s state spending to the 1978-79 level and only let it grow adjusted for inflation and population. State revenues above the voter-approved limit can be reckoned with several different ways, including refunding half of the excess revenues to taxpayers, with the other half going to schools.
Welcome Oakmont of Westpark!
I love attending ribbon-cutting ceremonies because it means businesses are growing and jobs are being created in California!

Congratulations to Oakmont of Westpark on their grand opening! This beautiful, brand-new assisted living and memory care community in Roseville will bring 60-100 jobs to the area.

Left to right: Roseville City Council Member Pauline Roccucci, Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Cheryl Cobbin, BOE Member Ted Gaines, Roseville Vice Mayor Bruce Houdesheldt, Roseville Area Chamber of Commerce Ambassador Annie Gallagher, Roseville City Council Member Tracy Mendonsa.
According to CAL FIRE, in 2020, California had 9,917 wildfires that burned 4,257,863 acres. Those fires damaged or destroyed 10,488 structures and caused 33 fatalities.
Unfortunately, the 2021 wildfire season is shaping up to be worse than last year and the drought isn’t going to help matters. That means all Californians must do what they can to minimize risk. Here are some basic ways to stop a wildfire before it starts:
  • Use powered equipment before 10 a.m. and never on hot and windy days.
  • Don’t use a lawn mower or weed trimmer with a metal blade to clear dead or dying grass.
  • Properly maintain your vehicles and ensure that nothing is dragging on the ground, like trailer chains.
  • Don’t burn campfires, debris, or rubbish unless you stay by the fire and have adequate means to extinguish it immediately.
  • Always follow “No Burn” orders.
  • If a wildfire does start, be prepared to evacuate quickly, and follow all evacuation orders from officials.
Property owners should create and maintain 30 to 100 feet of defensible space around their homes. Grass and other ground vegetation should be trimmed down to at least four inches and trees and shrubs should be laid out in such a way as to minimize fire risk.
The summer months are here and could bring with them a sharp increase in the wildfires we’ve already seen in 2021. So please, plan, prepare, and stay aware. Everything you do to ensure your own safety helps everyone else stay safe too. Visit Ready for Wildfire for more information.
California's Young Republican Leaders
I had the pleasure of joining the El Dorado County Young Republicans recently for a meaningful conversation about many topics, including the State Board of Equalization, energy issues, housing costs, taxes, financial aid, and much more. They impressed me with their depth of knowledge, and I left feeling energized and hopeful about California’s future!
At Your Service
White sign with words Customer Service in red sitting next to a bell with a finger pushing down on the ringer. Picture of Board Member Ted Gaines sitting in a black desk chair wearing a light blue shirt and striped tie.
As a Board Member, my number one priority is to advocate for taxpayers. I believe hardworking Californians deserve to have someone working on their behalf to streamline and promote efficiency in state government.
Should you need assistance with tax-related problems or have questions, visit my website for information on how to contact my office or email me directly anytime.
Mark Your Calendar!